Throwing round a thought

Ian B Walker

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Just suppose for one moment that I was to start repairing and servicing Mercedes (preferably W201 and W124's). Could I ask the forum what they would be happy paying per hour for work done. What would they expect. What sort of tools are essential. Any advice on setting up a project such as this. What services would they like ie in a day or when complete (loan car offer). I am just wondering as I may be interrested. Ok now is your time to laugh :)
 

Alfie

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Round here, the stealerships charge £95 per hour plus VAT! So anything below that would be a benefit I would have thought. I dont know what they charge in Preston though!

Good luck, I hope it takes off.
 

peterchurch

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Hi,
around the Bath & Bristol it seems that hourly fees are 30-45 per hour. MB charge £95 + Vat :(

Regards,

Peter
 

R2D2

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A Mechanic near me ;) charges roughly £100 for an A service and £200 for a B including normal parts like filters and Oil.
 

eddie_E

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R2D2 said:
A Mechanic near me ;) charges roughly £100 for an A service and £200 for a B including normal parts like filters and Oil.

Where are you?
 

R2D2

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The mechanic lives in Maidstone......many of us use him.
 

Tan

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Ian B Walker said:
What sort of tools are essential.

I would have thought that a STAR diagnostics machine would be essential.

If you do run with this project, I wish you the best of luck.

Regards

Tan
 

Shude

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You'd need garage or workshop premises, an office, a huge box of snap-on tools, at least one lift and some bosch certificates on the wall. Limited liability company, indemnity/liability/building/contents insurance and a whole bunch of other stuff that your accountant and solicitor can help you with.

£30-45 per hour sounds reasonable, undercutting the stealership won't be difficult ;)

Pick up some 201s and 124s from auctions and cheap local ebay or autotrader, break them for parts/spares, keep the good ones for courtesy cars or tidy up and sell on as part of the business. If you are the main man for 201s and 124s then you will get the business when people want to buy, sell, maintain, repair or whatever their cars - it's a great position to be in! If you speak to local stealerships I reckon you could pick up some cheap 201s and 124s that have been part-ex'd, they would normally end up at the scrap yard or the auctions anyway.

Lots of options open to you really, good luck :)
 

jukie

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Ian B Walker said:
Just suppose for one moment that I was to start repairing and servicing Mercedes (preferably W201 and W124's). Could I ask the forum what they would be happy paying per hour for work done. What would they expect. What sort of tools are essential. Any advice on setting up a project such as this. What services would they like ie in a day or when complete (loan car offer). I am just wondering as I may be interrested. Ok now is your time to laugh :)

Ian, AFAIK, the Mercedes Doctor in Formby currently charges £35 p/h + VAT. He offers a loan car if he has one available and just gives realistic timescales for job completion. He's just got Winstar and wouldn't be without it. You might also like to consider AirCon recharges in time too.
 

peterchurch

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Tan said:
I would have thought that a STAR diagnostics machine would be essential.

If you do run with this project, I wish you the best of luck.

Regards

Tan

There was a company that cloned the star machine onto a laptop and started selling them ;)

might want to try and find that software :)
 

miro

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Tan said:
I would have thought that a STAR diagnostics machine would be essential.

If you do run with this project, I wish you the best of luck.

Regards

Tan

For those cars I highly doubt that a STAR diagnose is going to make all that much difference. I would have thought an old set of diagrams and reference books with a trouble code scanner would be just as useful.
 

Shude

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The only tool you need for engine/trouble diagnostic is the bosch ignition tool AFAIK, everything else on the car is pretty much mechanical, although some have a rudimentary ECU.
 

fuzzer

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local dealer has just jacked up from £75+vat to £95+vat per hour ... grrrrr :devil:
 

kikkthecat

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Ian

Go for it, any mechanic worth his tools could charge £40 an hour plus parts and people would be getting off lightly. Any venture of this sort would stand or fall on quality of work rather than price. As a mercedes driver I have 2 choices, get it done cheap or get it done right. Put the 2 together and you're on a winner.


I'd just like to express an opinion
Having had both my 124 Coupe and Cabriolet serviced by Ian I have to say I was impressed with the standard of work. It helps that he actually enjoys doing it, even the tricky bits. Oh by the way it is a 160 mile round trip for me but the bacon butties made it worthwhile.
 

Will

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I'd like to say that everyone knows or would like to know someone like Ian. :)

Ie, someone who is handy with the spanners and offers good, honest work at a good, honest price.

Aside from all the 'complications' of liability/tax/insurances etc, it is a great idea. Perhaps rather than going too public, at first look at doing close friends/forum member's cars.

Like Miro has said, I don't think you need too much fancy equipment for the old-school W201/W124s etc - just decent tools and test equipment.

If you don't want to invest too much, perhaps stick to basic work at first (ie, servicing, non-complicated faults etc) and see how it goes?

I am sure after a few months you could gauge how things are going before making too many commitments?

Good luck with the venture. :)

Will
 
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Ian B Walker

Ian B Walker

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Thanks for the help that been offered here and especially thanks to Shude for pointing out the insurance stuff, I hadnt thought of that. "If" I go ahead with this project / thought it would only be for 201's and 124's as I am reasonably ofay with those. Another good point made by Shude was the collecting of ex dealer trade ins etc. Jukie , I wouldnt tread on our friend in Formby's toes, if it was a Merc other than what I had thought of doing I would recommend that the customer go to him. Fuzzer, thanks for the PM. :D As for Star Diagnostics, I think that is a little beyond me at the moment, although I would wish to employ a merc trained Mechanic at some time during the first 18 months or when profits allowed. I am still thinking, but the thoughts are looking brighter, only a little but deffo brighter. Just before I finish this reply, long winded as it is I would just like to add that my breaking plans for the Red Shed still stand.
 

lotusmark2

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Well just to add to this thread, as most of you will know Ian has been a major part in the Hillclimb car project and the cold and techy bits are coming to an end.
Having seen Ian commitment to doing this right and his skills I would not take my Merc anywhere else if I was lucky enough to own one of the mentioned cars.
I will be starting work very soon on a single seater scratch build race car and Ian will (hopefully) be welding and helping with that project aswell.
The bottom line is that in this kind of race car I will be trusting Ians workmanship with my life so I can't say much more than that.
 

nictry

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R2D2 said:
The mechanic lives in Maidstone......many of us use him.

Seeing that I live not too far away from sunny Maidstone and have just got my first Merc I would be more than a little grateful if you could share with me the relevant information to get in touch with the mechanic concerned ;) :)
 

jimmy

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I wish you luck in your new venture but it is not as easy as you might think. It is something I would like to do but to specialise in one area or make you seriously limit your market, OK if it's a sideline but a problem if it is your sole income.

You have to seriously think about insurance, public liability at the least. You will also need to guarantee your work and be able to afford to cover the costs of mishaps and unforseen problems.

I myself do a bit part time mechanics, not qualified, mostly self taught and still learning, but would love to make a small business from it, maybe one day. Cars are becoming more complicated and you do need the right tools and diagnostics kit, this is not always expensive but you need to have the knowledge that interprets the results.

My main concern for you is getting the work, especially if you limit the market to older MB's. As for rates, if you were qualified, had insurance, warranty on work etc then you could happily charge £40-£60 an hour. I know trained mechanics who do 'Homers' (evening work on their drives) and charge £25-£50 an hour.

Is this being thought of as full time or part time venture?
 

guydewdney

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if you go for this - ill send you a copy of the epc and wis cds, plus a cd with with diagnostic stuff (post 96 38 pin style) - and a copy of any / all the software i have if its any use... (such as autodata ahem :rolleyes: )

good luck - hope you have plenty of dosh sitting there for the lean first few months...
 

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